An excellent article in the Wednesday dining section of the New York Times about how a few restaurants are beginning to get off the bottled water wagon and serve...gasp...tap water!! This is a great trend for so many reasons, not the least of which is that for most of us, spending seven or eight bones for bottled water at a restaurant is a colossal waste of money (and a HUGE moneymaker for the restaurant owner) that makes spending four bucks for a latte at S-bucks seem like a bargain. I mean, don't you also feel like a bit of a tool when you take that plastic bottle of water up to the checkstand at the minimart? Plus the cost of shipping these designer waters thousands of miles from France and Italy, not just in money but the carbon dioxide emissions spent getting them to the tables here in the U.S. The mountains of glass and plastic that litter the landscape. And the obvious fact that most tap water in much of America tastes just fine. This is especially true here in Portland, where we have excellent tap water. And if your local liquid doesn't meet your taste requirements, a small investment in a water filter pitcher is such an easy fix. Come on people, you can buy a Brita filter pitcher for around twenty bucks.
The public has been so brainwashed by the bottled water industry that somehow it is safer to drink from their bottles, when nothing could be further from the truth. As the article points out: "The public water supply is much more stringently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency than bottled water is by the Food and Drug Administration. The E.P.A. requires multiple daily tests for bacteria, for example, with the results available to the public; the F.D.A. requires weekly testing, which does not have to be reported to the agency, to the states or to the public."
Read the article and hopefully you'll come to the conclusion that I have, which is it's time to buy the reusable nalgene bottle or some other container and refill that out of my home Brita filter, rather than stop at the store to grab a bottle of plastic. At your favorite eating joint, order from the tap. It's always a stretch to think that my action as an individual may have a positive effect, but what we've got to keep in mind is that if enough others join in as individuals, then what a huge difference it can make. So I'm off plastic. How about you??